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Business Model and Management

Question:

Discuss about the PrintFabric.com E-Commerce Website.

E-commerce business is one of the best adapted structure of the modern business models. This allows selling and buying of goods or services through the help of electronic media (Laudonr & Traver, 2013). The printfabric.com online business has been introduced with the aim to fulfill the online garment shopping needs of the customers all around the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is solely an e-commerce business, with whatsoever no physical presence. The report is written to serve the purpose of discussing the business motives behind the development of the website and producing an idea of the look and feel of its user interface.

As mentioned previously, printfabric.com is an e-commerce website that helps its customers to buy their very own customized and printed tee shirts. The website allows customers to browse through a large gallery of pre-customized and highly rated designs. They can also create or upload their own designs, add them to the tee shirts and place orders. The company has their own logistic management system that manages the delivery of these projects.The company thrives to produce the best quality services and products for its customers. The company values the supportive modules that work coherently with them like those that provide printing materials, tee shirts and so on.

Printfabric.com wishes to reach the epitomes of fashion e-commerce within the country and abroad. The company wills to spread its wings in the other Asian countries and provide in-house services through local showrooms or shops.Provide an attractive user interface to the customers through its website (Goh et al., 2013).

  • Allow a seamless flow of data and information through its e-presence.
  • Capture the custom fashion market in and around the nation.

E-commerce business means the buying or selling of services and products from online sources, through the means of electronic mediums. It can be a business-to-customer based model or customer-to-customer (Chakravarty, Kumar, & Grewal, 2014). Here, PrintFabric has adapted the independent business-to-customer form of model, where the business entity sells the products and customers order and purchase accordingly.

This is an online business model. The company sells tee shirts based on the customer’s order on the online web portal. The company has various partners who work in coordination to enhance the business system. They provide monochrome t-shirts of various sizes and quality. PrintFabric also purchases color and rubber printing materials from a wide range of vendors, across Saudi. In addition, as said earlier, they currently have their own logistics management team, who will take care of the delivery of products around the country (Christopher, 2016).

However, this was just about the in-house management of the business. As for the e-business management goes, the company makes sure that all its business ideas are clearly highlighted in the website. Regular offers are broadly advertised on the home page of the website. There are business analysis experts in the company who decide what are the offers to be put up and for which specific products or designs. Web 2.0 features should be elegantly used (Huang & Benyoucef, 2013).

The customers are allowed to browse through a wide range of customized designs for printing them on their t-shirts. The designs made and used by previous customers are also available for usage. The users can rate these designs and the t-shirts they purchase. The data analytic experts analyze the customer reviews on the designs and t-shirts and accordingly feature them on a priority basis (Daoud, Naqvi & Ahmad, 2014). The website also has a membership subscription pack for the elite customers. They are allowed an added discount on every product that they order from the website. This is a clever business move, to attract several customers to take up membership and thus the company can sell more with the lucrative offers (Gummerus et al., 2012). Moreover, the elite customers are also allowed an additional 5 days over the regular 1 week according to the return policy.

User Interface Design

As for the payment procedure, the business allows both cash on delivery and e-payment methods to its customers including credit cards, debit cards and e banking. However, the company management are also in talks with few of the mobile money wallet providers to allow e-wallet transfer.

SWOT analysis is a common approach that helps to analyze the effectiveness and working of a business. It is a study taken by the organization to identify the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business. In addition, the external opportunities and threats are also recognized to improve the business model accordingly. Here, each SWOT participle is taken up to analyze the business of printfabric.com (Awais & Samin, 2012).

Strengths:

  1. The website is to be designed with a rich user interface that attracts customers of all ages and cultures.
  2. Low prices must be imposed on the products.
  3. No need for physical existence. This averts the need for buying shops or showrooms and paying huge amounts in rents.
  4. Hiring dedicated employees who excel in e-commerce handling.
  5. Hiring creative set of in-house designers who enrich the stock with lucrative designs.

Weaknesses:

Not being an independent business organization, they have to depend on the prices and quality of the by-products that they buy from the vendors (Goetsch & Davis, 2014).

No physical presence makes it difficult to advertise a business’ presence. This requires loads of effort to be put into digital marketing and adverts.

Opportunities:

  1. There is a lot of challenge in fashion e-commerce business. If one can excel in what they are doing, they can certainly ripen their luck in the marathon.
  2. However, customized t-shirt business is new in the realm of e-business.
  3. Customers sometimes get confused to choose the size of garments when shopping online. This is where; this business can bring in new ideas to assist customers to be fearless in their shopping approach.
  4. Tie up contracts with local sports teams or institutes for better promotion.
Online presence is never flagged off the threat of cybercrime. With the complete business being run from online resources, it is massive challenge to keep the website protected from hackers and spammers (Von Solms & Van Niekerk, 2013). More on these threats shall be discussed in the later sections.

As mentioned earlier, the website is to have a user friendly interface. This requires a simple design to be implemented that will allow users to find all that they wish to find on visiting the website. The main offers section will be displayed at the top of the home page of the website. It is necessary to make this page keeping in mind that it must convey precisely what the business stands for. The customer’s preference should be given the earliest preference. Texts and headings shall be made bold and noticeable. The various functions that the website provides must be separated into different sections. The logo and the entire web design are to be composed with a formal outlook.

The navigation menu gets a space at the header of the website, with drop down sub-menus. The header may also hold the login / sign up tabs. Below that, the offer banner will get shelter. This will be a slider image gallery and will preferably informative and large enough to drag visitor attraction. Further, below will be the search bar.

Below that, the various types of design sections that the company provides will be shown. This too will be in a slider section like a design showcase. The footer will contain social media links, footer navigation and the copyright information. Figure 1 shows a draft version of what the homepage design is somewhat ought to be. The final design will be attached in a further section in the report.

This is one of the most important sections of the report. The website functionalities of an e-commerce website determines the base for its customer performance, ignorant of everything else. To begin with, the website must ask the web visitors to login or sign up with a new account, for the sake of security (Wang et al., 2013). This will help the company to fetch the visitor’s email contacts, which can be later utilized in promotional contexts (Korda & Itani, 2013). In addition, on logging in, the order, designs, wish lists and search results can be kept saved for each customer. Customers will first have the opportunity to upload their own design and test it on in-built t-shirt graphics of their chosen color. They can then place orders by selecting proper sizes and numbers of purchases. They will also be given the option so as to whether they wish to share their design with others. These will be available for usage and ratings by others in the respective sections of the website. There will also be different sections for men, women and children, based on their summer and winter wears. On entering these sections, the visitors will be prompted the most recommended designs and t-shirts that are picked through review analysis of other customers.  On clicking a particular t-shirt, the respective catalogues will turn up providing all information about it. The users can upload their design here too and customize them according to their wish.

Functionality of the Website

Customers can also track their orders in the order tab of the website. They can also opt for return or replacement by writing their concerns on the Request Replacement button, that will be provided beside all orders once the delivery is successful.

The website will also contain links to the respective social media handles. This include the company’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. Apart from the footer sections of the website, these links will also be separately placed under the Contact Us tab or web page.

Finally, the customers will have options to pay through e banking or they can choose the cash on delivery option. A secured payment gateway company will handle all the online money transfers.

According to Bryant & Jones (2012), such websites shall also have the qualities to retain the shape of any device display that they run on. This is known as responsive web designing. This gives the customers to browse the website freely on any electronic display unit with an internet connection. This helps to bring in dedicated mobile users into the marketing sphere (Kim, 2013).

This is one of the most important software requirements for the healthy functioning of the business architecture. CRM or Customer Relationship Management software package consists of a helpful set of tools that assist in the proper management of distinct business processes such as customer interaction, customer feedbacks, order details, vendor support, marketing and so on. This comes with highly customizable and scalable methods to analyze business data and view business opportunities using predictive analysis.

Being an online business model, the business certainly needs a NoSQL database to manage its big data. However, special choices must be made in order to select these database systems in case of in-house enterprise management. The website will require a software for the server to run. This manages the inter-connections and the server as a whole. Ubuntu Server and Apache are some of the common examples.

The cloud server based storage shall be used by this business. Being new in business, the cloud server based storage and hosting services will be beneficial. This will shift the entire responsibility of server management over to the cloud server company. In addition, the cost for server management decreases, as there is no need for dedicated hardware. The cloud-based hardware can be shared among other renters as well, thus lowering the cost for infrastructure of the business.

Any business online is exposed to the threats of cybercrime. Since the advent of the internet, the rate, quality and threats of cybercrimes have been ever-increasing phenomena. Moreover, the use of the internet in the process of buying and selling goods forms a major part of the global e-commerce structure.

            Customers are always concerned about the frauds of the online business. The major threats that can cause a havoc to the business system are as follows:

  • A hack in the Payment Gateway.
  • Leak of personal information.
  • DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks can curb off the customers’ access to the website. This generally causes the companies to lose plenty of resources.

Hackers might be doing this out of their urge for fun, hobby fulfilment, thievery or personal interest. It is extremely necessary for the officials in charge of security to keep a close eye over these matters of cyber issues.

The preventive measures that must be adapted by the company in order to securely conduct an e-commerce business are as follows:
  • Data protection and privacy: The login credentials for the users that are uploaded on the server must be stored carefully. The maintenance of these modules must abide by the rules and regulations of the data protection protocols.
  • Software Maintenance: It is necessary for the development team to keep track o any bugs or loopholes that may come up in the website or in the server end. The hackers generally make use of these flaws and gain access to restricted information.
  • Payment Security: Trusted and highly rated payment gateway is needed to be hired for the fulfillment of payment procedures of the business. The customers must be given the clear notion that they can trust the payment method.
  • Network Security: The cloud-server management company must be well aware of their duties to protect their client’s data. They must implement adequate firewall techniques and relevant network models (Rabai et al, 2014).

SWOT Analysis

To succeed in business, it is necessary to recognize the right set of customers, convey the ideologies to them and spread the goodwill or reputation of the business. There needs to be well-planned and analyzed set of marketing and advertising strategies. The different strategic factors include planning in the following:

  • Demographic: In this case, it is necessary to involve the young people in the target set of customers. Moreover, sports foundations and institutes should be in the prime focus. They would love to invest in creating new jersey-designs for their curriculums.
  • Marketing method: Measures must be taken to control the price, quality and quantity of the products to be sold. There must be teams to that would keep track of these factors, as these are the most important aspects of how the business will turn out to be in the market.
  • Social Media: It is necessary to have an active social media presence. SEO professionals must maintain PrintFabric’s business handles for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is one of the best sources for advertisement for an e-commerce business, in the modern society (Tuten & Solomon, 2017).
  • Multichannel Marketing: This can be obtained through network interaction through customer service calls. In addition, E-mails and social networking sites are the best modes of multichannel marketing.

Sharma & Lijuan (2014) says that to conduct a business, the ethical and legal aspects of the society must be considered. In this business, it is necessary to make sure that the designs being used are ethically acceptable. The designs must not have inappropriate content. It is also necessary for the company to be loyal to their customers in term of Word of Mouth. Whatever is promised in the website at order placement, must be delivered. Moreover, it must also be noted that the designs do not violate the copyright laws of the country. The Saudi Arabian copyright protection laws meet every requirement of the international copyright rules and regulations. Designs marked under intellectual properties or copyrights cannot be reused for commercial purposes within a frame of 20 years. Failing to comply by these laws, may sentence individuals or businesses to grave consequences.

Conclusion

The report helps to conclude that there are plenty to be considered while framing an online-based business model. The report gives a clear idea of what are the requirements for an e-commerce fashion website. It is important to use the right design frameworks and tools to develop a website that would cater to every needs of the website in the specific domain. All information system factors like data storage, analysis and security must be well revised. The business must also abide by the laws and ethics of the society. Most importantly, concrete strategic planning for marketing and advertisement is required to excel in this field.

References

Awais, M., & Samin, T. (2012). Advanced SWOT Analysis of E-commerce. International Journal of Computer Science Issues, 9(2), 569-574.

Bryant, J., & Jones, M. (2012). Responsive web design. In Pro HTML5 Performance (pp. 37-49). Apress, Berkeley, CA.

Chakravarty, A., Kumar, A., & Grewal, R. (2014). Customer orientation structure for internet-based business-to-business platform firms. Journal of Marketing, 78(5), 1-23.

Christopher, M. (2016). Logistics & supply chain management. Pearson UK.

Daoud, M., Naqvi, S. K., & Ahmad, A. (2014). Opinion Observer: Recommendation System on ECommerce Website. International Journal of Computer Applications, 105.

Fang, Y., Qureshi, I., Sun, H., McCole, P., Ramsey, E., & Lim, K. H. (2014). Trust, Satisfaction, and Online Repurchase Intention: The Moderating Role of Perceived Effectiveness of E-Commerce Institutional Mechanisms. Mis Quarterly, 38(2).

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Goh, K. N., Chen, Y. Y., Lai, F. W., Daud, S. C., Sivaji, A., & Soo, S. T. (2013, April). A comparison of usability testing methods for an e-commerce website: A case study on a Malaysia online gift shop. In Information Technology: New Generations (ITNG), 2013 Tenth International Conference on (pp. 143-150). IEEE.

Gummerus, J., Liljander, V., Weman, E., & Pihlström, M. (2012). Customer engagement in a Facebook brand community. Management Research Review, 35(9), 857-877.

Huang, Z., & Benyoucef, M. (2013). From e-commerce to social commerce: A close look at design features. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 12(4), 246-259.

Kim, B. (2013). Responsive web design, discoverability, and mobile challenge. Library technology reports, 49(6), 29-39.

Korda, H., & Itani, Z. (2013). Harnessing social media for health promotion and behavior change. Health promotion practice, 14(1), 15-23.

Laudon, K. C., & Traver, C. G. (2013). E-commerce. Pearson.

Lee, J., Lee, Y., & Lee, Y. J. (2012). Do customization programs of e-commerce companies lead to better relationship with consumers?. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 11(3), 262-274.

Rabai, L. B. A., Jouini, M., Aissa, A. B., & Mili, A. (2013). A cybersecurity model in cloud computing environments. Journal of King Saud University-Computer and Information Sciences, 25(1), 63-75.

Sharma, G., & Lijuan, W. (2014). Ethical perspectives on e-commerce: an empirical investigation. Internet Research, 24(4), 414-435.

Smith, M. T. (2012). Digital clothing manufacture: digital innovation and co-Design changing the clothing industry. Priscila Lena Farias/Anna Calvera, 436.

Tuten, T. L., & Solomon, M. R. (2017). Social media marketing. Sage.

Von Solms, R., & Van Niekerk, J. (2013). From information security to cyber security. computers & security, 38, 97-102.

Wang, F., Ge, B., Zhang, L., Chen, Y., Xin, Y., & Li, X. (2013). A system framework of security management in enterprise systems. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 30(3), 287-299.

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